Monday, May 21, 2012

long but not lost?

photo: hellogiggles

I'm so hesitant to post this, and I'm not sure why. I've had it ready to go for days, but haven't been able to push the publish button... for no good reason really. Well, part of the point of blogging is to put yourself out there and face the consequences, so here goes... a little piece of my heart.

It's a funny thing when you lose a friend.

A few years ago, I lost a friend - not just a friend, but a close friend... a best friend. Don't get the wrong idea, he didn't pass away - it was nothing that final or, honestly, that easy. I lost him to a series of unfortunate events that led him to no longer be my friend. I lost him to his inability to tell me the truth, and my inability to get over my fear of confrontation and just ask to have my needs met. I lost him to his running away from a problem, and my own fury at being lied to and avoided. A series of very unfortunate events that culminated in totally cutting ties with one another.

It cut me to the core.

He is the first person that I've ever lost in this way, not the only one, but definitely the loss I felt the hardest and mourned the longest. I didn't write for years, literally years, because he was the one that I used to bounce my writing off of. He was the one that gave me honest feedback. If something I'd been working on was terrible, truly horrible, he'd say, "Not so good, Jazz. Try again." or "You can do better than that." And when I succeeded with something, he'd nod his head and give me a simple, "Nice." No big show about about it, because that's not how he rolled, but I knew it when he thought my work was good, and I felt good about it. Losing him may have been the final straw of why I quit acting for real. He was my honest opinion. We'd done so much theatre together, so much GREAT theatre, that not having him to talk it out with, or work on audition material with, or cry outside of rehearsal when I just couldn't cram another ridiculous lyric in my brain with made the work a little less sweet.

He was a person that I knew better than I knew myself, but also would always be a total mystery to me. He's a gay republican... How does that even happen?! Just kidding... kind of. ;) It's one of the things about him that never made sense to me, but added to his overall You just never know that he had, and likely still has, going on.

I've thought about him so much, almost daily, since our "split", and I still feel it as raw as I did on the day I first realized that he wasn't coming back. I miss him deeply, but I've also come to terms with the fact that we really may never speak again. It's a hard thing to cope with, but it was ultimately something that I realized may be forever, especially when both parties do unforgivable things to one another. I'm not proud of what I did to drive the final stake between us, but I don't know that I would take it back either. At some level, I think he needed it to happen in order to realize that you can't just walk out on someone that trusted you. Or, you know, maybe not. Maybe my reactive behavior taught him nothing positive. I may never know either way.

And then again, maybe I will...

A few days ago, as B and I were going through boxes from our move PRIOR to this one, boxes that I hadn't opened in over a year, I found a bunch of his stuff. Sweet, important stuff, like kindergarten report cards and photos of his friends, that I'd been holding on to in case he came back. Well, he never came back, and I'm not a person that could throw out such obviously personal things, even those belonging to a person that I was so furious with. Seeing how torn I was about them, B asked me if he could facebook message the owner and ask if he wanted these precious items. I nodded, and didn't say much. B did, and with a speedy reply, my old friend said yes, and offered to pay shipping (which is totally unnecessary). He also said that he thought of us often and asked if it would be okay to write an email to catch up.

I was floored. I didn't expect to feel such a swift kick in the gut when B told me about the reply. I didn't expect to feel relief flooding through me. But I did. I felt joy... plain and simple. My friend, that I had wished the best for and missed desperately, wanted to write to me.

I only want to talk to him. I want to know where he's been and what he's been doing. I want to know what his hopes and dreams are, if they're still the same, and I want him to know mine. I want him to know that life has been kind to me in some ways, and very difficult in others. Most of all, I want him to know that I've missed him so terribly. I want him to know that every time I hear "Hey Jealousy", I think of us, driving around town, laughing so hard our faces hurt, and him eating JBCB's at every Wendy's we passed.  Every time I hear or read the words "praise band", I think of his made-up lyrics, "Her sister was in the praise band. It's funny, cause she's a sinner." and I smile hard before the bittersweetness sobers me up.

We will probably never be like we were. We will probably take years to recover what we lost, and I don't know if he's even interested in that. But just knowing that he's out there - that he's thought of me and missed me... well, it's almost enough to make the sadness worthwhile.


Have any of you ever lost a friend like this? Have you reconciled and reunited? Should I let go of my expectations - since it's expectations that got us here in the first place - and just hope?

I'll take the advice where I can get it... this is a tough one for me.


Eva said...

I lost my best friend of 7 years literally the day we graduated. No phone calls & never to be heard from again, with the exception of an awkward run in at Panera that summer. The friendship had been a slippery slope for over a year so it wasn't entirely unexpected, but it still ripped me to the core. And now there's the awkwardness of Facebook and our mutual friends ("Would you like to be friends with this person?") that threatens to swallow me up but then I realize we're two different people now. Me, for the better. And who knows about her. I've moved on from it, I guess you can say. Doesn't mean you have to let go of the memories.

Is this the curly headed boy?


Spingoddess said...

Jackie, I've lost a friend like this, and I've even lost my brother like this. I haven't reconciled with either, so maybe I'm the wrong person to be responding. But over the years of hurting so much it physically hurt at times, I decided that I will always leave my door open to either of them, while at the same time, I will not be the first to knock on theirs. I've knocked before and been rebuffed, and I am done being a doormat.

So your ex-friend is knocking on your door, and you want to open it. Go ahead! What's the worst that can happen, that it will close again?

Jackie said...

Eva - Yes. You met him?

Spingoddess - He's not so much knocking... I think it's more of a gentle tapping. I'm not sure if it will lead to anything, but the door is open. I can't say that I've been hurt like you have in reaching out, and I'm sorry that that's the case :(, but I admit to being a touch ashamed of myself for not reaching out.

Double edged sword, as ever.

Eva said...

No, but I remember your pictures with him and you talking about him.

Spingoddess said...

Don't be ashamed. I know I'll sound like an asshat for saying this, but hey, that's never stopped me, so... the guy's a republican. Maybe you won't want to be that close to him anyway. Heh.

Felicity said...

Hey Jackie,

I reunited with an ex friend a few years back now, 7 years after we had cut each other out of our lives.

At first I was really happy about it, and she seemed to be happy too, but given time all of the horrible things she used to do to me started happening again.. little things at first, but in the end she was just as bad as she was when we were still 13.

Do I regret letting her back into my life? Yes and no. In a way I am glad I did because now I know it was never my fault that the friendship ended badly the first time, but on the other hand I do regret it because we're now in that awkward stage of not seeing or even speaking to one another and yet we're still "facebook friends". I just wish I had the balls to delete her, but then to delete her without saying anything to her first just seems too immature. :(

Hopefully things work out better for you and your friend.

Jackie said...

Aubrey - HA! You're probably right, really. Soon even my friendship will be totally partisan ;)

Mandy said...

My hunch is that your attitude (excitement, relief) says it all. Reconciliation can happen. Yes, sometimes it takes time to get back on track, othertimes not so much.

I've had a friendship end that I still am really not over, and yet I would never go back. Not because I lack forgiveness (I have forgiven) but bc the relationship was unhealthy.

You obviously care about the friend and the friendship, so I wish you the best of luck. I hope this past situation with you two will help to bring you closer together.

Real, deep, true friendships are worth the world. But I think you already know that.

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